Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Contemporary Art

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV: Connection

May 31, 2019 – Aug 25, 2019
Lee Gallery
Experience bamboo art on an unprecedented scale with a site-specific installation by Tanabe Chikuunsai IV, who pushes the limits of his craft.
Japanese artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV pushes the boundaries of bamboo art. He dramatically breaks the scale that we expect of the medium with soaring, twisting forms that stretch from floor to ceiling. His dramatic, immersive environments evoke the bamboo forests where these works began their lives. 
The fourth generation of a renowned family of Japanese bamboo artists, Tanabe Takeo (b. 1973) learned the techniques of bamboo weaving from his father and grandfather and the spirit of his art from his mother. He was bestowed with the artist name Chikuunsai, meaning “master of the bamboo clouds,” in 2017. 
His artistic process begins when he selects and harvests the finest examples of tiger bamboo, which grows only in the mountains of Kochi prefecture. He then bends and plaits the bamboo into towering installations, later dismantling the works and carefully cleaning the bamboo strips. Finally, he recycles the bamboo into a new sculpture.
In May, Chikuunsai IV and three apprentices will transform the museum’s Lee Gallery with a site-specific installation using bamboo previously used in works in Paris, New York and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The beginnings of building bamboo art on an unprecedented scale.

What People Are Saying

“A masterful piece of Japanese bamboo art by #tanabechikuunsai. This work is built on four generations of family craft pushing forward and challenging tradition. A portal to the future, this work is alive! A must see at #asianartmuseumsf.” -@nataliemcartwright

Organizers & Sponsors

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV: Connection is organized by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Presentation is made possible with the generous support of Ken Lamb, Alexandra and Dennis Lenehan, the Lloyd E. Cotsen Endowment for the study of Japanese bamboo arts, and the James M. Gerstley Fund for International Exhibitions. This exhibition is a part of Today’s Asian Voices, which is made possible with the generous support of Salle E. Yoo and Jeffrey P. Gray. Additional support is provided by The Japan Foundation.